Discussion in 'BOARDANIA' started by Garner, Jan 19, 2008.
Seed: The Gay Animal Kingdom
Reasonable people will probably say: "Okay, whatever - as long as it's all between consenting adults".
Not so reasonable people will say something along the lines of "Yeah, well, lots of animals also eat their young - just because something happens in the animal kingdom doesn't mean it's moral or should be made legal amongst the humans"
Just my two cents...
woah, that's a lot to read on a sunday morning. I agree with the first few paragraphs. Now I think I'll go and lie down a bit.
I think the author is could be bias, while she does have a interesting point; Evolution, sexual selection etc. theories are only Darwins in name these days. These theories have changed greatly as scientific thought has on the subject matter grown and evolved (excuse the pun) and are no longer as simple as Darwins original theories.
Her book seems to be the sort that will be targeted for sale in the gay community rather than the academic community. So it strikes me as more of a social commentary book than a scientific one that is aimed at making the gay community feel better rather than advancing scientific thought.
Still Darwin remains the "straw man" for the proactive creationist community, and that may expand to the gay community.
Agree with Pepster, the author is biased, although she claims not to be. Interesting reading though. However could the same not be said for Darwin - he could have been homophobic. (Haven't read any of Darwin's stuff).
I am aware of different sexual practices in the animal kingdom. Love the natural world documentaries.
My dog was gay - not interested in bitches at all. Got a few weird looks yelling at Ben to get off Butch!:lol:
My thoughts are that there are few differences between humans and animals, one of which is the way we think...
Hmmm - Now is Roughgarden saying that the animals in question are making a rational and thought-out sexual choice here? I hope not...
I mean to even use labels such as Gay or Heterosexual for what appear to me to be basic animal instinctive behaviours she is, in my opinion, dangerously anthropomorphising them to support her own belief and theories.
She states that “I think many scientists discount me because of who I am. They assume that I can't be objective, that I've got some bias or hidden LGBT agenda. But I'm just trying to understand the data.”
The simple fact that she uses her own trans-gender sexuality as a reason that other scientists may discount her research is quite insulting to all those other scientists, is quite telling about her own viewpoint, and it gives her a neat little PC get-out clause as well. Most other scientists will challenge her theories by other theories which can in turn be challenged (and thus grows the scientific debate process) rather than saying something like “Well her theories are crap because she is a trans-gender tub-thumping gay rights sloganeer who is using her supposed scientific authority to force (her own) human values onto natural animal behaviors, and maybe get a paper or two published”.
I am not anti-anything by the way, I kind of just dislike people who are so polarised that they end up defining everything around them by their own sexuality.
Well, living in that kind of environment (uni), it is obvious that scientists look down on women. Since true scientists can only be men. Some women are allowed, as long as they behave as men. Rather like the dwarfish community, or the watch. Everyone is welcome, as long as you act male.
Being transsexual can't make things any easier.
I don't think that gives her an 'out' though, and I didn't read the article as if she's trying to get one, either.
But hey, to each their own.
Certainly true in a broad way, I am associated with the chemistry and chemical engineering faculties at my uni and it certainly is a "boys club" in terms of staff.
Surprisingly there are a lot of female students.
I'm not sure it's much of a revelation. Humans are animals, some Humans are gay - therefore some animals are gay.
This would be based upon the fact that wisdom is proportionate to the length of your beard. As most women can't grow a beard they obviously lack the wisdom to be an academic...
As to gay animals, you could get into all sorts of arguments about whether human sexuality is instinctive or rational, just as animals is instinctive etc. But all of these studies just show is that there is a lot we don't know but societal hang-ups keep people tied up in knots, even when they are animals.
I'm not sure how this is coming across as a new idea. Bruce Bagemihl wrote a book with a similar hypothesis nine years ago, Amazon.com: Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity: Books: Bruce Bagemihl
It's also not that uncommon for scientists to disagree about the details of exactly how natural selection works.
Yes that is not surprising, I've quickly discovered all my ideas and concepts I have come up with myself in my research project have been already thought up by other people 10, 20, 50 years in the past.
If only I'd read their stuff first.
It's really not that new, although it has been ignored in the past. Which led to the recurring argument that "gay is unnatural", which obviously it isn't.
If the work lives up to scientific standards, it doesn't matter if the personal experience of the scientist influenced her work, because it stands to discussion, and to being evaluated. That scientists can be neutral in their views is a myth, even in biological sciences. (The example given in the article, about the mountain goats... There was one guy whose name I forgot, who was something of the Dian Fossey of mountain goats and observed just that behaviour, but decided to keep it for himself and out of scientific literature. He admitted at the end of his life, when confronted with newer researches, that he just couldn't stand the "thought of describing these [beautiful] animals liike that". Now, there's an agenda... :smile:
I love the way 'intelligent' people come up with these theories and immediately embrace the whole idea of sexual deviancy.
My favourite way of working out these things follows the simple KISS method, Keep It Simple Stupid.
In the animal kingdom it could simply be a form of contraception.
Or they could simply like the way it feels.
Why should we impose our human cultural taboos on animals.
I suppose it makes good copy.
I must say though homosexuality is a perversion, in the same way that oral sex is a perversion. Not that I have a problem with perversion. But I do have a problem with the media and the PC brigade telling me it's normal.
Oh boy this is a can of worms that just made me want to spit but as I know its not an argument that will go anywhere I will leave it at...
Ditto. Not that I'm generally against it, but starting a discussion with somebody who enters his first actual discussion on board already wielding phrases like "perversion" and "PC brigade" at everybody he found himself disagreeing with on the matter would probably only mean taking the bait.
I agree with Spiky and Hsing.
However, I would like to point out that proving that a behaviour exists in nature does not constitute an argument as to whether or not it is moral. I think that only certain animals, with a minimum level of intelligence/self-consciousness would have the capacity to behave morally or immorally. Having never read the book, I hope that the author does not imply that natural behaviour = ethical behaviour. A decent scientist wouldn't.
I agree with Spiky and Hsing on the deviant post, it's one of those that makes me wonder if I'm on the same planet as opinionee (did I just invent a word?)... and find myself having to assume that I'm not.
As far as I got it, the book wasn't so much about human behaviour and the question of ethical behavior at all, more about taking a different look on the mechanisms of natural selection... Not having read the book either, I may be wrong, though.
...that put aside, I couldn't help a small quote... (the small bits were necessary context).
I agree with spiky and Hsing but I have got to add:
In the name of sanity please tell me that you are joking.
In the unlikely event that poor Detritus hasn't been scared off by all the previous comments :wink:...
.. I think I'll play the devil's advocate about the "form of contraception" bit. It DOES seem to make sense. To prevent overpopulation, make sure you have your fun with no consequences, and this would certainly fit the criteria.
::waiting for someone to pounce with the "But animals don't THINK about the consequences of their behavior" line::
Evolution doesn't involve thinking.
One way that homosexuality could act as contraception would be if the ratio of homosexual activity to heterosexual activity in an animal population increased as the ratio of population to resources decreases, creating a stabilising effect on population - if population gets too high, heterosexual activity decreases; if it gets too low, heterosexual activity increases. I've never heard of this happening, though.
Then again, homosexuality can actually help increase the population, since a homosexual pair can protect younger animals and ensure they reach maturity.
I also don't know of any person who was attracted only to members of the opposite sex but engaged in homosexual activity simply because they wanted to avoid reproducing. There are easier methods of contraception.
I agree with Marcias reasoning. Also, in most species' cases overpopulation is not a scenario the species' own behaviour solves. It rather involves being eaten more often by hunter species who think they are in binge eating heaven, or a general tendency to starve more often, or stopping mating altogether for reasons of stress.
I've also heard of the theory that nature creates a certain percentage of "back up parents", because many same sex couples in animal kingdom adopt young ones or "orphaned" eggs (penguins f.e.).
Sorry for the abscence people.
I haven't been scared off, I've just been away from a computer for a while.
I'm not surprised that my post created a bit of a stir. It also doesn't surprise me that I could probably advocate murder and everyone would make an effort to understand my point of view, but call homosexuals perverts and the hanging party starts.
This is why I usually stay clear of such discussions. No purpose is served by arguing. Sometimes however I find myself in the state of mind that I propel myself with abandon into such discussions in the vain attempt that common sense may be discovered.
No I wasn't joking about it being a form of natural contraception. Some animals have the capability to decide if they want offspring, kangaroos can reverse a pregnancy if the local situation requires it. I don't believe my suggestion is any more ridiculous than the eminent doctors. I had a labrador, he would have sex with anything that stood still long enough from my leg to a quilt. That doesn't mean he had a leg or a blanket fetish.
I'm not sure you have to be so melodramatic, it was hardly a hanging party - personally I just thought you sounded like an idiot.
I understand all your other stuff about dogs humping furniture etc, but I don't get this bit, by 'common sense' do you mean your point of view?
Mal I have feeling your just being suckered in...
Personally I was less offended by the 'gays are perverts' comment than I was astounded at the 'oral sex is perverted too' comment. This isn't a hanging party its just the response of people who have just found that their very private sex lives has been judged to be 'perverted' by someone we've never met...
So in the interest of fairness all I know about you is that you have a dog which must be perverted because he humps quilts. You will burn in hell for allowing such sexual impropriety from an animal in your care... ergo, the animal may not have free will but you should be in control of its actions as it is your responsibility, so its actions are your responsibility.
Common sense only gets you so far, after that, its pure ignorance and prejudice that gets you to such bloody stupid conclusions.
Of course, Mal. We're the PC brigade, don't forget that. While a small percentage of humanity was handed common sense, we were busy being brainwashed into hytseric apologists for sexual perversion. But at least, with "perverted" in this case including 90% of the grown up population -as Spiky finely pointed out- , we're not alone in this. We are, so to say, opportunistic nominal members of a majority. It gives a whole new meaning to "There's a sucker born every minute", too.
Maybe 'the hanging party' was a little melodramatic, maybe not.
My appeal for common sense was directed at the originator of this theory, I am of the opinion that there are those who spend a lot of time and effort looking for ways to further their cause by quoting historical figures and citing examples that cannot disagree. According to some I have heard, Nelson's final words were uttered because he had a secret crush on Hardy. I choose to believe those that state his final quote was 'Kismet' rather than 'gis a kiss'. Another school of thought is that EDIT (Conan Doyle not) Kipling was attempting to show that Holmes and Watson were more than mates. Is nothing sacred.
My opinion on the PC brigade is just that, my opinion. I have 3 children and I have explained to them that if they come home with a partner of the same sex I don't have a problem with that. But I waited until they were in their teens to discuss it and I disagree strongly with outside influences championing the cause of same sex relationships in situations where younger children have access.
I don't expect to force my opinion on anyone else, however would like the luxury of stating it without fear of attack. Calling me an idiot because I have a differing point of view isn't helpful.
I expect the right to believe I am right. I am sure you also believe that you are right, this makes discussions interesting. If we all agree with each other we may as well not speak.
I don't like to single people out for comment, but Spiky please read my post before you comment on it. I was making the point that the dog is merely acting on instinct and is, like the animals in the original study, doing it because he's randy and the item he's humping is on hand.
The reason I called oral sex a perversion is not because I think it is wrong butbecause that's not where you're supposed to put it. If you wish to be literal any act of sexual gratification is a perversion. It's designed to make babies. It's only fun to persuade animals to do it.
Okay, I don't understand what Kipling has to do with Sherlock Holmes, did he write some theories about being gay too?
Anyway, I'm not saying you are an idiot, just that you're sounding like one to me at the moment.
The way I see it, usually the reason why scientists/doctors or whoever try to research things is to learn more about nature and the world around us so we can learn more about ourselves along the way, bring us closer to knowing why we're here and such.
As I said earlier it's no big leap of faith to me to believe some animals can be gay, seeing as some humans are gay and humans are animals of this world, so it stands to reason that some of the other animals might be gay too... unless you're (I mean anyone, not Detritus) one of those misguided people who think people can be turned gay, that it's something that they choose as part of a "lifestyle" thing or some chain of events has made them that way since they were born. I guess this kind of work might help show those types of people that it is natural, whatever that means?
Oh I read your post... and my 'commonsense will only get you so far and ..prejudice gets you the rest..' comment was directed at my own conclusion based on the fact that your dog humps quilts... The people here who know me would undestand that I would never think it odd that a dog would hump anything and I certainly don't think you're going to burn in hell because your dog is a hump-freak...
I save that fate for those that are truely evil not just for those whose opinions I disagree with. And I think that is the crux of the argument. SOme people will believe that others who disagree with their views on gaydom are evil, while others just think their other people out there that aren't the same as me.
Geez. I guess thats my one major insight for the year. I can relax now till 2009 :wink:
Who are you to decide what the human body is designed for?
Edit: Or if we were designed at all. I think it's highly likely that we evolved.
Quote 'unless you're (I mean anyone, not Detritus) one of those misguided people who think people can be turned gay, that it's something that they choose as part of a "lifestyle" thing or some chain of events has made them that way since they were born.'
Actually I don't think that one can be turned gay anymore than a gay person can be turned hetrosexual, it's not a communicable disease.
However in the same way that some gay people spent a large proportion of their lives living as a hetrosexual, because of the cultural taboos they were raised with, there are also those who have become involved in the gay scene because at that confusing and vulnerable time of their life they were influenced by others.
The fact that you raise the 'nature or nurture' question is interesting. Why does it have to be one or the other? Why not a mixture or the two?
But enough troll bashing please, lets get back to the original point. A transexual is trying to convince people that her purely scientific, unbiased findings are that half the animal kingdom prefers being homosexual and so therefore it is a normal thing for us to do astounds me. As does the fact that she appears to be dismissing Darwinian theory based partly on the fact that he was biased because of his cultural norms. But this is even less astounding than the fact that there are so many people who refuse to question this because it is not politically correct.
What hope do we have that the way we choose to live will be accepted as a valid choice, when we cannot respect anothers opinion.
If a person makes a choice, they should not have to justify it to anyone, unless that choice causes another harm.
But while there are those who insist on forcing their own views on the rest of us this will not happen.
Marcia, I am an evolutionist and we have only managed to evolve because we propogate the species. That is why nature has designed our bodies in this way.
I stated an opinion. Sex for reproduction is the only form that is not a perversion. This caused those of you who are obviously more enlightened than I to make personal remarks and inuendos. Read a dictionary. Pervert-Turn ( a person or thing) aside from it's proper use or nature.
I find it interesting that people are outraged by my views.
If you don't mean "pervert" in a moral sense. It seems odd that you raise the subject at all.
There are many number of things in the world that we "pervert" from their "proper" or "Natural" use. Flowers proper use is to attract insects (and such) for pollination (spelling) yet we use them as mere decorations. Are we "perverting" the nature of Flowers.
In a dictionary sense, you could say that we are. But it's is more of an academic sense- in that we are using things in way differently than nature intended. If you don't include the moral term then is a pretty redundant sentence. We have evolved to use things in a different manner than used before. Big Deal.
Your phrase “Sex for reproduction is the only form that is not a perversion” Is either, in my opinion, incorrect or stuck within such a ridged framework of definition that it is pointless. Perhaps both.
I think you’ve given the role of “sex” as purely a biological. Sex is for reproduction. If you are not having sex for reproductive purposes then you are “perverting” (in a non moral sense) sex. While on a purely biological sense this may be correct. It misses the wider roles of sex- having sex for pleasure helps strengthen the bonds between a relationship, evolutionarily- this would give the young a better chance of survival. I think your guilty of having a too narrow definition of sex- ignoring the social and emotional issues which I think are just as important as the biological- and therefore too quick to label things a “perversion” of it.
I’d also point out, whether you are doing this on purpose or not but it seems you are using language for shock effect. Your just of the word “Perversion” is an example of this. Marcia does not need to read a dictionary, she knows what perversion means. In fact, Marcia’s interpretation of the word (with the moral judgement connotations) is the most commonly used one and she was right to jump to the conclusions she did about your meaning.
You where using the strict dictionary definition. Not the everyday one. Perhaps this is your language but I suggest in the future if you are using strict definition you state that to avoid on confusion.
If I’m honest, I believe that you are purposely stating things in a more extreme way to provoke a certain reaction, before coming back with a more moderate reply. I could be wrong here. That is just how your language has come across to me.
This discussion appears to have run more than far enough for the good of the forum.
I'm sorry if my language or my views have shocked anyone. It was not meant to upset any one here. Please accept my apologies.
Apology accepted. There is no need to stop the discussion if you don't wish you. While I don't agree with your statements, i do find them interesting.
And with all of these situations, the onus to make ones intention clear lies with both parties. Perhaps some of us could have also expressed ourselves better.
Long time no see....
2 cents of my own:
I read a similar discussion on a message board that brought up the "purpose" of sex and compared it to teeth, whose obvious purpose is cutting food.
We also use them for expressing feelings, seducing mates (how many people love a particular smile?), holding things when we don't have a spare hand and they are necessary to most of our languages. Other species use them to threaten as well. Sex is similarly multipurpose.
Rinso said everything in this discussion that I would have said.
Separate names with a comma.